When we talked of the tiger caves in saluvankuppam, had mentioned that there are two more beauties in that cluster. They are the amazing bas relief sculpture of mahishasuramardhini and the Atiranachanda mandabam ( rock cut cave of Rajasimha having his lovely inscription) - we will visit the bas relief first.

view from atiranchanda madabam.jpg

Even seasoned visitors to Mahabalipuram would mostly miss the attractions of saluvankuppam. Even those that do venture, would miss this seemingly innocuous looking stone. Just in front of the rock cut madabam is this piece of living rock.

atiranachanda + mahishasuramardhini saluvankuppam 2.jpg
atiranachanda + mahishasuramardhini saluvankuppam.jpg

You got to go around to see the handiwork of the pallava sculpture, who has transformed this insignificant piece of rock outcrop into a work of art. These pictures would give you an idea to its location and ensure you don’t miss this pint size masterpiece on future visits.

tiger cave panel detail.jpg

The large mahisha panel in mallai serves as a nice comparison for us to view this piece. Lets look at the main characters side by side in order to infer more. In the mallai panel the devi is in all her glory on her lion vehicle engaged in battle with her 8 hands.

devi mallai 2.jpg
devi mallai.jpg
devi saluvankuppam.jpg

The demon too is standing up and giving fight with his massive mace. Whereas in the saluvankuppam panel - he is down on his knees, the devi too is in the process of dismounting from her vehicle, with one leg gracefully off the saddle. The demon looks wasted, with nostrils flayed and hands raised in a kind of let me go pose.

mahinsan mallai.JPG
mahisan saluvankuppam.jpg
mallai mahisha.jpg

Thus this is the sequel to the mallai panel.

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Category: Sculpture

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 5th, 2008 at 15:03 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Comments so far



Great post..I have seen these and taken pics as well..your posts help me understand the significance better

September 9th, 2008 at 8:49

Nice to see your careful comparison. It was getting dark when I was there last, and we didn’t stay long enough to suit me

October 23rd, 2012 at 13:22

tks kathie - should visit again. a special place for me


October 25th, 2012 at 11:55

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